Senators craft Syria compromise – Gives Obama 90-Days To Take Military Action

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Excerpted from POLITICO: A new use-of-force resolution for Syria sets a 60-day deadline, with one 30-day extension possible, for President Barack Obama to launch military strikes against the regime of Syria President Bashar Assad — and it will also bar the involvement of U.S. ground forces in Syria.

The revised resolution was crafted by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman and ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, following several days of negotiations. The panel could vote on the proposal by Wednesday.

Aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were also involved in the discussions over the revised resolution.

Menendez and Corker both support Obama’s call for “limited, proportional” attacks on the Assad regime over its alleged use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.

Over the last two days, Corker had been insisting on a 30-day deadline for Obama to order any military action against Syria, but Democrats objected to that requirement.

The Tennessee Republican had also sought a flat-out prohibition on the insertion of any American ground forces into Syria.

But Democrats insisted that Obama should be allowed to do so under limited circumstances, such as special forces operations or to secure stocks of chemical weapons.Corker aides noted the bill includes a prohibition on using American ground forces for “combat operations,” although it is silent on using troops in emergency situations.

“Sharing President Obama’s view that our nation is best served when we come together as one, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has crafted a bipartisan Authorization for the Use of Military Force that we believe reflects the will and concerns of Democrats and Republicans alike,” Menendez said in a statement.

“Together we have pursued a course of action that gives the President the authority he needs to deploy force in response to the Assad regime’s criminal use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, while assuring that the authorization is narrow and focused, limited in time, and assures that the Armed Forces of the United States will not be deployed for combat operations in Syria.”

“Our negotiations have led to a much narrower authorization that provides for the appropriate use of force while limiting the scope and duration of military action, prohibiting boots on the ground, and requiring the Obama administration to submit their broader plan for Syria,” said Corker in his own statement. Keep Reading

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